Kazakh oilfields: Astana is planning to put more than 60 potential oil and gas fields up for auction next year, Energy Minister Kanat Bozumbayev announced yesterday. The majority of the fields are located in the deep waters of the Caspian Sea where there are an estimated 40bn tons of hydrocarbon reserves waiting to be tapped.
The auctions will be conducted under the auspices of the Eurasia project, Kazakhstan’s plan to raise up to $500m from the international oil and gas industry to explore the deep-laying horizons of the Caspian Basin – both on land and sea – within Kazakh and Russian territories. The first phase of the project, which has entailed collecting and processing material from previous explorations is more or less complete, according to Bozumbayev.
“From the results of the analysis, we will create a portfolio of exploration blocks,” he said.”We are considering the joint development of the ….Kalamkas-sea and Khazir fields and we are [also] negotiating the joint development of the Central, Khvalynski and Kurmangazy fields with Russia.”
This second stage of the project will include a large-scale research programme which Astana hopes will attract investment from some of the world’s largest oil companies, including Chevron, Total, Lukoil Rosneft, CNPC, and ONGC.
The final stage would entail the drilling of some significant new wells, up to depths of 14-15km.
Kazakhstan has an estimated 30bbn oil reserves and 85tr ft³ of proven natural gas.The main oil reserves are located in the western Tengiz oil fields of Karachaganak, Aktobe, Mangistau, and Uzen which currently hold half the country’s reserves, while the offshore fields at Kashagan and Kurmanagazy in the Caspian Sea are estimated to hold a minimum of 14bn barrels. The majority of Kazakhstan’s gas is in the Karachanganak, Tengiz, Imashevskoye and Kashagan fields, also in the west of the country.